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Peacock will get $2 billion toward streaming content: Comcast CFO

Shawn M. Carter

Upcoming streaming service Peacock just got a $2 billion vote of confidence.

At the UBS Global TMT Conference in New York, Comcast Chief Financial Officer Mike Cavanagh said the new platform will get $2 billion in funds dedicated to content and marketing in its first two years and that it will become profitable within five years.

And it has already been making moves.

The company, earlier this year, announced it landed the rights to stream “The Office,” which had previously been a top-performing title on Netflix, in a $500 million deal.

When Peacock launches in April 2020, it will be at no cost to Comcast customers. And Cavanagh, while mum on specifics, said there will be “various pricing tiers” for non-Comcast subscribers but that advertising revenue will “make the price to consumers sensible.”

Currently, Netflix’s standard plan starts at $12.99, Disney+ starts at $6.99, Hulu starts at $5.99 and Apple TV+ starts at $4.99. However, each service has free or low-cost promotions, like Disney+ being free for a year to Verizon Wireless customers.

Peacock will join a crowded field of popular streaming services, already pouring funds into new and original content. Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ have both dished out about $6 billion on fresh shows. Hulu spent around $2.5 billion on content in 2018, with plans to go bigger. And Netflix is expected to spend nearly $15 billion on original content this year.

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But Cavanagh is optimistic about Peacock’s chances. “We’re not looking to play somebody else’s hand,” he said at the conference. “I think our approach to Peacock is a thoughtful consideration of our strengths and opportunities to put together a plan that, in success, will put us in a really good place. Success is ours if we get it right and it’s worth pursuing.

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“Consumer demand will be there. Advertisers will be looking to reach audiences.”

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